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McKinsey Partner referral after resume screening rejection

Anonymous A asked on Mar 21, 2019

I had applied to McKinsey a few months back and got rejected in the resume screening round. More recently, I got in touch with a McKinsey Partner through networking and shared with him that I was rejected in the resume screen, followed by asking him to advise on how I can strengthen my resume should I want to re-apply in the future.

When I mentioned that I got rejected in the resume, he said that he could have referred me and there would be more visibility on my application that way. However, two days later I reached out to him again and asked whether my application would be reconsidered if I resent my resume through him, or will I need to wait for 12-24 months before re-applying. He mentioned that I would need to wait for 12-24 months before re-applying.

Does a partner have the power to overrule a resume screen rejection at McKinsey? I feel like I read somewhere that they do, which makes me wonder if there might have been something I did/said during the rest of our conversation that might have made him decide otherwise.

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Nirmit
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replied on Mar 21, 2019
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Hi,

Agree with Vlad and Robert. With a Partner recommendation, you do not have to wait for the stated 12-24 months. However, it sounds like this Partner, for reasons of his own, might not feel comfortable referring you anymore.

Having said that, you/your resume did make an impact on him and that's why he offered to make the referral in the first place. If you're really trying to get in now, I would continue to attend such networking sessions and try to get another Partner excited. You were able to do it the first time around.

Thanks,

Nirmit

Robert
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replied on Mar 21, 2019
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Hi there!

Since partners are basically the owners of the company, they can do pretty much whatever they want/think that brings the most value to the company. So yes, as a partner you have the possibility to "overrule" a decision by HR - given the appropriate supporting argumentation in a meriotocratic culture. However, at the same time, as the "boss" you don't want to make your employees look and feel stupid, especially if it's concerning a core part of their function.

Given your summary of the situation it sounds to me that your CV was borderline and the partner tended to see it in a slightly more positive way than HR - but probably not that outstanding that he wanted to take on the extra effort of "overruling" HR.

Hope that helps!

Vlad replied on Mar 21, 2019
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Hi,

Partners can definitely do that. However, you should not blame yourself, since as I understand you did not have a meaningful connection anyway. And even if you did something wrong - how will you understand what's exactly and how it will help you now?

Best

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